Especially, the popularity of Carl Nielsen has made it possible for the foundation each year to grant three honorary awards of no less than DKK 750,000 apiece. Every other year the awards are granted to Danish composers and musicians, and every other year to Danish sculptors.
The honorary awards of the foundation are Denmark’s largest one-off culture awards given to Danish artists.
The recipients of the awards are each year chosen by the board of the foundation.
The awards are given as a special acknowledgement of the recipients’ already demonstrated talent and as an encouragement and help to the artists’ future work.
The first honorary award was granted in 1959 to the composer and professor Vagn Holmboe. For several years, only one award of DKK 15,000 was granted each year. However, over the years not only the number of awards but also the amount has been increased considerably, and it has therefore become possible to reward not only one but several Danish musicians, composers and sculptors. In rare instances, it is possible to receive an honorary award twice.